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Yorkshire & Humber AHSN proud to have been shortlisted for HSJ award.

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) narrowly missed winning an award at the HSJ awards last night, after facing stiff competition from  Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust for their work on Primary Care Paediatrics, in the category of Acute, Community or Primary Care Services Redesign, but are still extremely proud to have been shortlisted.

The new Faecal Calprotectin Pathway, which helps GPs make the difficult discrimination between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), was developed by Dr James Turvill, Consultant Gastroenterologist at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Turvill said: “I have felt strongly that if we could that harness the clinical utility of faecal calprotectin then patients would benefit. Working with a great team at York Hospital and the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN we have been able to realise this. The recent evaluation by our partners at York Health Economic Consortium has been really positive and further supports our continued roll out across the CCGs in the region and nationally’’

Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said: “We are really proud of the work we have done to support this innovative test that is not only improving the experience of patients but also ensuring that precious NHS resources are optimised. We support frontline clinicians to enable improvements and innovations to be spread across the whole of the NHS. Even though we didn’t win, I am still incredibly proud that we were shortlisted for an award’’.

Phil Mettam, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) accountable officer, said: “They might not have been victorious at the tonight’s HSJ Awards but Dr Turvill and the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN team should be proud of their work on the innovative faecal calprotectin pathway nevertheless.

“The CCG was proud to play a significant role in the pathway’s initial development, testing and evaluation, as well as the collaborative work with local partners that ensured the pathway was implemented successfully across all GP practices in the Vale of York. This has better equipped GPs to distinguish between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and irritable bowel disease (IBD).”

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has successfully supported the rollout of the new pathway across eight Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and 210 GP practices. A further nine CCGs are fully engaged with implementation plans in place and the new pathway is influencing national clinical guidelines.

IBS affects 10-20 per cent of the population, half of whom will consult their GP with 79,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. IBD occurs much less commonly, being seen three per cent of the time.

As distinguishing IBS from IBD is difficult, as many as 19 out of 20 patients are unnecessarily referred to secondary care, which often includes an invasive colonoscopy.

Use of the new pathway in the region has resulted in a 40-57 per cent reduction in new hospital outpatients’ appointments and a 21-50 per cent reduction in colonoscopies. There are projected savings to each CCG of £68,000-£100,000 equating to a saving of £1.4 million across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

In March this year, the Faecal Calprotectin programme was awarded a Medipex NHS Innovation Award.